Postby jiang on Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:20 am

Dear Prof.,

Please read the following:

When this happens, a body of warm water that normally pools in the ocean east of Australia begins to move toward the coast of Peru. Warm air rising from the surface of this mass-which is as much as 12F warmer than normal-acts like a paddle stuck into the southern jet stream, redirecting it northward and altering weather from Australia to Canada to Africa. The warm water itself, meanwhile, is like a cap on a bottle when it hits the coast of Peru, halting the rise of cold, nutrient-rich water that typically emerges along the Sough American coast from deep in the Pacific. That drastically affects the food chain for marine mammals, birds, and fish.

When E1 Nino occurs, ___________.
A. it doesn’t change its direction all the way
B. the warm air rising from the sea is much warmer than normal
C. the trade winds in the Pacific blow eastward to the west
D. weather change from Africa to Australia in turn

The key is C. But I think in B “sea” refers to “mass” in the passage so B should be the correct answer. Is that right?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you in advance.

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Re: comprehension

Postby prof on Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:54 pm

C. is certainly wrong, because it makes no sense. Just as 'forward' means 'to the fore', 'eastward' means 'to the east'. You cannot go eastward to the west any more than you can go north to go south.

On the other hand the 'this' of 'this mass' makes it clear that the mass is the object referred to in the previous sentence - the body of warm water in the ocean. Since the air rising from that that is twelve degrees warmer than usual, this makes B. the correct answer, as you have noted.

The question is whether 'much warmer' can refer to a difference of twelve degrees. The answer is 'yes' because the results of that difference are so dramatic.

Note also, A. would be correct if 'it' referred to the jet stream, but the question refers to el Nino which does not change direction at all.
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